A Chiranjeevi release is a festive event in town. The city's map looks different on the day, the campus circuit is classified into those who have tickets and those who will, there are rambunctious "mass" crowds even outside the multiplexes, TV reporters are queuing up outside assorted theaters for the evening's most anticipated story, and the cut-outs are more omnipresent than the Lord himself.
And if you are inside a theater for the opening show, you realize a whole new meaning to the word frenzy. The hysteria engulfs all in its wake, as a mass of humanity transforms into one homogenous entity that's unanimous in its raucous ecstasy, and shows it through zillions of shredded paper billowing into the hallowed air as The Man does his thing. Sometimes, life is all about blending. If you're still feeling like your own man, God help you.
Yes, there's a world out there.
Andarivaadu is almost perfunctory Chiranjeevi fare - a mass entry, big bad wolves who want more money and are willing to bite for it, 2 (two) heroines, a warehouse of family sentiment, glitzy dances, riotous comedy and charged stunt sequences. Govindaraju (Chiranjeevi) is a boorish mason who can kick ass real bad, and is quite the man in his community. A brash yet soft-hearted widower, he's raised his son Siddharth (Chiranjeevi again) through enormous hardship, and the latter is now a celebrity TV anchor with his own show, and opulent in love for his father.
Siddharth pisses off a big local don when he exposes him on his show, and coincidentally Govindaraju gets the same guy's kid brother in jail on a murder rap. That's obviously going to entail payback, since big local dons don't celebrate these things.
A parallel thread of the film encapsulates a romance between Siddharth and Shweta (Rimmi Sen), which doesn't meet its logical end since Shweta herself despises Govindaraju - he is the reason that Siddharth insults her rich dad Virendra (Prakash Raj) at their engagement ceremony, even if Virendra invited it. She then marries Siddharth, deciding to use that as a means to split the father and son.
Most of Andarivadu deals with the relation between Dad Chiru and Son Chiru, and is well-done simply since Chiranjeevi is such an evolved actor. His portrayal of Govindaraju shows just why he is amongst the finest of Tollywood. From comic timing to tear-jerking scenes, he has a range that lends everyone else a benchmark.
Tabu as the demure, poised second wife of the elder Chiranjeevi does a good job, too. The film has a generally riotous comic track with the Big C himself leading it, though there are some unfortunate exceptions (like when Chiranjeevi drives with Sunil on a Bullet). Venu Madhav and M S Narayana support him pretty well. The music by Devi Sri Prasad is average, and none of the songs particularly lingers, except to some extent the title track.
Andarivadu is not among the sleek, trendy kind of movies that increasingly hit the screens these days - it is more a throwback to the '80s, with its sentimental theme and its rustic look. Chiranjeevi has more-or-less painted himself into an image that's increasingly not going to help with the urban youth, thereby restricting his appeal as an ongoing process. He also looks too painted, literally, and needs to lose weight and try different genres to sustain his position.
On the whole, though, this one entertains, and is worth a watch.